Feeding my eLearning Interest

Technology plus learning equals eLearning.

Ever since college, I have this penchant for anything multimedia used for learning purposes. Anything that will lead me to developing eLearning materials, I’ve tried. When opportunity came to work as a school eLearning specialist at the field, and now product development specialist of elearning products, this interest shoot skyward.

I’ve been reading posts from elearningindustry.com and subscribed to feeds related to eLearning. I’ve also volunteered when training opportunities for Adobe Captivate 8 at the office came. Though I was not able to practice what I’ve learned during that hands-on training, I was able to use that pre-existing knowledge to self-study Articulate Storyline; thus, my first project entitled Workplace Compliance using the basic commands was conceived. You can check the project description and demo here.

Workplace Compliance
Workplace Compliance

Just a quick comparison between Adobe Captivate 8 and Articulate Storyline, they both adhere to providing interactivity to eLearning courses, aside from the fact that both are easy to use (for Adobe Captivate, if you have experience using Adobe tools and for Articulate Storyline, for those with MS Powerpoint experience). However, between the two, I like Articulate Storyline better with the ease of use and the community always available for support. I guess Adobe Captivate support for development of responsive eLearning (mobile, tablet, desktop) just takes Articulate Storyline a notch higher when it comes to features, though Storyline published content can be viewed for HTML5, andriod and iOS devices.

Going back, I usually do the following to further fuel my eLearning interest:

1)Read feeds related to eLearning. Just a year ago, I subscribed to elearningindustry.com and receive feeds everyday about the latest trends in the elearning sector. I’ve set my email client to automatically filter all the feeds to a folder and everyday,I set aside time to read on any new blogs that would enhance my knowledge about elearning. I also subscribe to other feeds from astd.org, elearningexamples.com and blogs with #elearning.

2)Invest and acquire books about elearning. In today’s world, it’s easy to acquire a book, either the physical one or the electronic type (ebook). As of the moment, the only hard copy of a book I have is Learning Articulate Storyline by Stephanie Harnett and so far, I recommend this book to those new to learning Articulate Storyline. As far as the concepts will be taken into consideration, I’ve downloaded several free ebooks from www.comlabindia.com, elearningindustry.com and iadl.org.uk that you can check out.

3)Surround yourself with people talking and practicing eLearning. In my case, I am exposed to eLearning through my workplace, where basically, part of my job is to write about elearning products and develop them. In your case, you can take advantage of the internet to do that. You can join forums on elearning, follow elearning professionals via the social media, and take part in communities that advance eLearning in your area.

4)Practice being the eLearning enthusiast that you are. One effective way to learn about something is to practice it. That’s what I’ve done so far. I’ve indulged myself in creating an elearning course to literally apply what I’ve learned. It doesn’t matter if you’re just good at one area: writing, or editing, or developing elearning courses. What matters most is that you learn and you practice what you’ve learned. You can also join #ELHChallenges at elearning heroes to build up your portfolio. The submitted demos for each challenge are really awesome that qliterally, it inspires me to be better at the courses I create.

5)Talk about eLearning. If you are interested about something (or someone), you talk about it (or him/her), right? Same with eLearning. As you learn more, share your knowledge to other people. It will not only allow you to reflect what you’ve learned but also give back to the community that helped you out when starting out to know more about eLearning. In my case, I use my blog mainly in sharing each learning nugget that I chew on.

So there. As a beginner in eLearning, learn, share what you learn and allow others to learn, just like what I’m doing. In this industry, that passion to learn more is the true foundation of being successful and being able to help others learn 🙂

Design Principles for eLearning Designers

Sharing to you one infographic I find helpful in the project I’m currently working on. 🙂 This post originally appeared in info.shiftelearning.com and tells about the Design Principles that eLearning designers should know.

Design Theories and Principles That eLearning Designer Should Know Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Design Theories and Principles That eLearning Designers Should Know

C.R.A.P. for Effective Visual Design

The 4 basic principles present in every eLearning design can be abbreviated to CRAP.
Contrast
Any two items that are not exactly the same should be very different.
Repetition
eLearning designers should repeat certain design elements throughout the course.
Alignment
Different aspects of the design should line up in columns, rows, and along a centerline.
Proximity
Developers should group related items together.

Gestalt for Coherence
There are 6 principles of Gestalt, which work together to ensure learners form a positive opinion about the design from the first glance. These principles are:
Similarity
Elements that are similar to one another merge into groups almost automatically.
Proximity
The idea that when learners sees several objects arranged together, they perceive these objects as belonging to a group.
Closure
The mind fills incomplete space with the missing information.
Simplicity
The mind will attempt to turn visual chaos into something more simple and understandable.
Continuation
The human eye naturally wants to move from one object to another.
Symmetry and order
The mind tries to perceive objects as symmetrical and based around a central point. This is because it makes sense to perceptually divide objects evenly and turn random, unconnected items into something understandable.

Dieter Rams’s Principles of Good Design
In the early 1980s, Dieter Rams set out the following 10 principles:

Good Design Is Innovative
Innovative design has the element of surprise, which stops students from becoming bored and improves learners’ ability to encode new information.

Good Design Makes a Product Useful
Learners must find content useful to find value in it. Without perceived usefulness, students will learn very little.

Good Design Is Aesthetic
Aesthetics go hand in hand with usefulness. A course must be appealing in order for users to want to spend time with the content.

Good Design Makes a Product Understandable
The “product” in this sense is the eLearning course. It should consist of content relevant to learners’ needs by taking into account the skills students currently possess while providing learners with material that will lead them to obtaining the knowledge they desire.

Good Design Is Unobtrusive
Courses are tools to fulfill a purpose; therefore, eLearning design must be unobtrusive to leave room for self-expression.

Good Design Is Honest
Modules and objectives must all promise only what they can actually offer learners. When eLearning design ensures that expectations are met, students will have set their expectations for the program accurately and will experience no let down.

Good Design Is Long Lasting
By avoiding the latest trends and fads, a course will never become outdated. Although the developer can refine the information, there will never be any need to start over completely.

Good Design Is Thorough Down to the Last Detail
Nothing about an eLearning design should be arbitrary or left to chance. Instead, every detail should be planned to meet users’ needs and desires.

Good Design Is Environmentally Friendly
The design of any product should contribute to the preservation of the environment by conserving resources as far as possible and minimizing both physical and visual pollution. In terms of an eLearning course, this means improving the learning environment of the students and creating no extra noise or pollution for learners.

Good Design Is as Little Design as Possible
Developers should focus on just the most essential aspects of the course to make it as good as it can possibly be. Adhering to this rule of simplicity ensures that learners only receive as much material as they can absorb.

Boosting e-classroom in Quantum: GENYO Activities

 One step ahead in e-Learning. This is what Quantum students from General Santos City experienced as they take part in several school activities for the month of July.

            The Quantum Academy Inc., now on its second year subscription of using GENYO e-learning, is maximizing the use of technology as some of its activities kicked off when the month of July started.

            GENYO class. From chalk and chalkboard to whiteboard and marker; now, computers and internet. These are the new tools of learning for students as they read and listen to their lessons online inside the classroom and answer their interactive activities in the computer room. As the school moved a notch higher in upgrading their facilities by adding up computers and internet in each classroom, the students not only benefit from the eye-popping visuals and its accompanying audio but at the same they enjoy learning their lessons.

 

          As what Reginald Falgui III, a grade six student said, “GENYO is helpful especially in Science because when our teacher can’t fully explain or draw properly our lesson like cells, she uses GENYO and we easily learn. It is much easier with GENYO.”

            Online Teacher Diagnostic Test.  To measure the student’s capabilities at the start of the school year, Quantum teachers conduct an exam in their specified subject area and this time, the school decided to make it online. Using the test builder feature of GENYO, teachers had converted their own tests and let the students answer the questions. Results were then easily tracked to check on the student’s competence.

 

 

 

           Online Student Election.  Teachers don’t need to print several copies of paper for an event done only once. This time around, high school students voted their choice for the student government (SG) leaders online with just a click of a button. Within minutes, SG adviser Virgil Faderogao was able to trace the winners from the election using the Survey feature of GENYO and declare the new set of winners during the weekly assembly of students. As he had mentioned, “With GENYO, we get fast and accurate results in a matter of few minutes. After the election, we already knew the winners for the student government officers this school year.”

 

 

         Homepage Development and PowerPoint Presentation. In celebration of the Nutrition month, Quantum students also created their own homepage and PowerPoint presentation with themes on Cottage Industry and Livelihood. Given a time limit, students designed their own homepage and powerpoint in which they uploaded in GENYO via the offline homework feature.

 “GENYO paved the way for easy transmission of file. With the aid of its offline homework, access for Homepage Development final presentation became a breeze as we just download all their entries in just a few clicks in a different computer,” Dealson Bagorio said as he facilitated the event during the HELE/TLE week.

             Using the offline homework feature of GENYO, students are able to upload their final work online and teachers download it in another computer for checking. With this, students also have a back up copy of their work when technical difficulties were encountered during the event.

           Other activities that helped Quantum boost e-classroom include teacher trainings wherein the on-site learning integration specialist conduct trainings on several features of the GENYO e-learning system. Also, students went through the online elimination of Battle of the Brains, an intra-school quiz bee competition to measure the students’ academic capabilities. Truly, these activities make Quantum one step ahead in integrating technology in the classroom. For further information, you can check out http://www.genyo.com.ph.#

7 tips when you’re away from home (For my co-LIS and Batch 4)

Hi guys!

 

I know we’re on the same boat now – adjusting to a new environment, new people and especially new situation.

 

Trust me, I’ve been there before — a year ago. It’s not that easy to adjust ( I know coz’ I’ve been there!) but take heart! I know you’ll make it.

  

Kung ako nga, nakaya ko nang isang taon, kayo pa kaya???

 

This is my 2nd year here in General Santos City and at The Quantum Academy, Inc. 

During my first year, I didn’t know anybody except for Al and my relatives living here.

Wala akong masyadong kakilala, wala akong permanenteng bahay, malayo ang bahay ng tita ko at isa pa, hindi ako marunong magbisaya.

Take note: Bisaya ang salita dito kaya naman halos maubos ang dugo ko sa pakikipag-usap sa mga tao.

 

  

One week passed. Nakahanap na ako ng boarding house malapit sa school. Malayo kasi ang bahay ng mga relatives ko.

Mahirap kasi wala akong gamit. Damit lang. Kelangan ko ng kama kaya naman naubos ang extra money ko para makabili lang ng bed.

Naho-homesick na rin ako kaya naman naghanap na ako ng church na pwede kong puntahan every weeked.

  

Two weeks passed. First salary as LIS. Compared to my previous salary, I need to budget my money for my personal belongings.

Nagwork na ako sa call center before and malaki ang difference. Pero iba pa rin pag gusto mo ang ginagawa mo, pina-practice mo ang course mo

at nag-eenjoy ka sa trabaho mo. This is my choice and I think this new experience will help me a lot in my life’s journey.

  

Three weeks passed. Naiiyak na ako sa sobrang boredom pag nasa dorm. Wala akong communication sa mama ko kundi ang cellphone with a Sun simcard.

Smart ang gamit nina mama kaya di ako makatawag. Buti na lang nagdala ako ng libro para di ako mabore. Nagpupunta rin ako dito sa plaza para di mabore.

But after the incident when someone talked to me in straight Visayan accent and we CLEARLY have miscommunication, I rarely go there; well, unless I’m with someone. 🙂

 

 

Four weeks passed. Medyo ka-close ko na ang mga teachers. Lagi na rin ako binabati ng mga students dito. Pag may activities, isinasama na rin ako dito sa school.

Medyo masaya na kaso andon pa rin ang pagiging homesick ko, lalo na’t mag-isa lang ako.

Kaya naman nung magsweldo, bumili kaagad ako ng phone para makausap ko sina Mama. Nakaconference ko rin ang ibang co-LIS ko using globe (nag-endorse?!)

kaya di na ako masyadong nalulungkot. Sila na kasi ang iniistorbo ko. You know who you are.

 

Months after months.  Busy na sa school kaya di na ako masyadong nalulungkot. Plus, I have friends na nakakakwentuhan ko pag gabi.

 

 

See. I have my own story. Pero nakaya ko. After some contemplations, I think these tips can practically help you if you’re away from home for a long time:

 

1.) Dream big.

Just like Peter Pan, you need to think happy thoughts to soar high. Have a long term goal. Dream and achieve. If we have dreams, we have life.

 

2.) Find a church.

 I know we have different beliefs. But mind you, when I’m down, I’ll go to church and pray. It’ll ease the feeling of loneliness.

In my case, I’m a Christian so I looked for a church here. During weekends, I spend my time not only in the boarding house but also with my churchmates.

 

3.) Explore.

During your free time, explore the place. You have lots of weekends to do that. ^_^

Being assigned in a far place can be an advantage because you get the chance to explore the natives and the beauty of nature.

You can have a “me” time or you can find friends you can hang out with.

 

4.) Befriend the teachers and students.

They will be your constant companion for the whole school year so better be friendly and flash your sweetest smile every time you go to school to school.

They will appreciate it and in the long run, it will be an advantage coz in times of need and loneliness, they can be your constant companion and friend.

Kaya ako nahilig manood ng movie dito dahil sa mga co-teachers ko. haha.

 

5.) Share your experiences with friends.

Just because you don’t have a bestfriend on that place whom you can completely trust, you’ll just sulk in one corner and accept the fact that the situation is very hard and you want to give up.

 

Well, if that’s the case, you’re one of those who don’t have a dream. As I said earlier, dream big. If obstacles come, accept it, share it with a friend and move on.

Life is much happier if you share your life with another person near you.

  

6.) Learn to know who to trust.

According to Wikipedia, trust means relying on another person or entity.

You may have a hard situation to adjust to, but if you trust God and you learn to trust HIM that your current situation is just temporary, then, you’ll have a hope that it will eventually become better.

Lastly,

7. ) Happiness is a choice.

Human emotions come and go. Situations in life are temporary. However, it will always be your decision whether to be happy or not. Life is short to live a life on what ifs.

Whatever your situation maybe, be thankful and be happy. Look at the opportunities in difficulties instead of difficulties in opportunities. Every moment is precious. Learn to appreaciate.

O di ba, ako na ang may mahabang note. Ngayon lang uli ako nagblog ng ganito.

 

Well, I’ve learned all these the hard way. I hope that you can also use this to survive.

 

 

GENYO team, kaya natin ‘to. Tayo pa, eh magagaling tayo. DI BA???!!!! ^_^

Quantum ready for “future classrooms”

Let your school take the lead.

In response to the Philippine government’s campaign to utilize ICT as a tool for learning, The Quantum Academy, Inc. in General Santos City launched GENYO, an online e-learning integrated program which serves as virtual classroom for both students and teachers.

GENYO, or Generation Youth, is powered by the two leading educational providers in Singapore and Philippines namely Marshall Cavendish Online and DIWA Learning Systems. Focused on the learning of today’s generation, GENYO is curriculum-based, student centric and promotes learning beyond the classroom. With the advent of technological advances, the internet will no longer be just for surfing, playing games, or watching videos but it will now be used for a more educational and enjoyable learning.

With an exclusive online subscription, Quantum students are able to browse different multimedia tutorial lessons and quizzes for English, Math, Science, Filipino and Araling Panlipuan/Hekasi that they can review either at school or at home for enrichment purposes.

In addition to this, teachers benefit from this online learning website as it serves as their tool for creating their own online lessons, games and tests that they can send to the student’s accounts for easier follow-up.

“For me, I like the online tests because it allows me to create the quiz earlier before the class and it lessens my work in checking the papers of my grade 1 students. With GENYO, I can immediately track the student with the highest score and give them a reward by allowing them to play a game after the quiz,” said Teacher Chiene, grade 1 adviser.  She also said that in subjects like Science and Sibika at Kultura, GENYO is also a big help because those things that cannot be easily pictured out by students, they can show through GENYO.

Teachers can also customize their lessons in GENYO that is much more suitable for their lessons. They can select lessons from GENYO, upload their own file or search from other websites and combine it to one single lesson that they can show to the students during class or even send it to their accounts.

“I really like GENYO because it helped me a lot especially in preparing visual aids. It’s very hard for me to look for pictures and materials for their TLE class, but with the help of GENYO, I can easily assign a lesson from YouTube, filter all the videos related to our lessons and show it to class,” shared Teacher Jennifer, a high school Technology and Livelihood Education teacher.

Even minor subject teachers of Music, TLE and Computer benefit from the advantages of using GENYO.

As Teacher Dealson of Computer subject said, “I use the offline homework feature of GENYO because it allows me to check the works of the students easily, without looking at their folders in each computer. Even at home, I can easily download their work and start checking. ”

Since the student’s lessons are delivered via the World Wide Web, classroom discussions come alive as the interactive multimedia content like animations, colorful graphics with audio and videos easily catch the student’s attention. Aside from enjoying these visuals, the students are also able to do their seat works or quizzes online either in Math, Science, English or Hekasi.

Quantum students also became highly participative in the school activities supported by GENYO. With the GENYO Pagsulat ng Sanaysay and the GENYO English Essay Writing Contest, they are able to squeeze out their creative juices in writing essays using the computer. Students in grade school and high school also had a glimpse of graphics design by creating their own poster and slogan using MS Paint or Adobe Photoshop.

“I like the poster and slogan contest because it gives us an idea on how we can be as creative as possible using technology, plus we are being competitive because we aim to get the medal,” shared Kate Montecillo, a grade 6 student.

Other activities supported by GENYO are the Battle of the Brains, LTRLinx Challenge, Gawad Genyong Guro (G3) and essay contests for both teachers and students.

GENYO is also used as a supplementary material for students who needed further review and follow-up on their lessons.  As such, The Quantum Academy, Inc. maximizes the use of GENYO and takes the lead in the academic community.

For further information, you can log on to www. genyo.com.ph.  #